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This is Pocky: (much larger image)

enter image description here

As you can see, the part that is not covered in chocolate has burn marks that form a distinct pattern that is also common for other kinds of "stick" biscuits. Is this just a traditional decoration, or does it serve some purpose?

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While I cannot give an absolutely definitive answer, from visual observation of the picture you provided, that is simply the pattern that would develop when a small cylinder lies across parallel wires of a grill at an angle. The contact surface is an ellipse where the biscuit was in contact with the grill, the width and length of which were determined by the angle at which the biscuit was oriented.

The biscuits are probably cooked twice, once to cook through and be strong enough for the second baking, and once to crisp up. The markings would be a result for the second baking.

The one or two exceptional sticks with doubled markings probably rolled or shifted slightly during the baking.

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I just checked my pack of Pepero and some other biscuits like that, and they all have double markings. – user1306322 Jun 6 '13 at 19:18
That would then indicate they are probably turned once during the baking process. – SAJ14SAJ Jun 6 '13 at 19:20
I suspect a grid, not just a parallel grating. – Joe Jun 6 '13 at 21:57
@Joe Possible, perhaps even likely, but I couldn't prove it by the marks in the picture provided. – SAJ14SAJ Jun 6 '13 at 23:09

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